Grant aids cities’ response team

The Gloversville and Johnstown police departments have received a $100,000 federal grant to support their Joint Emergency Response Team.

Gloversville Police Chief Donald VanDeusen said Sgt. Marc Porter put in the work to obtain the funding.

“Without his diligence to this effort, we may not have received any funding, not to mention the maximum allowed by the grant,” VanDeusen told the Gloversville Common Council this week.

VanDeusen said the Glove Cities police departments applied for the grant after learning $100,000 was available through the state Division of Homeland Security.

He the said funding mostly will go toward equipment and training needed for the joint response team.

“These funds will be used to improve and develop tactical team capabilities through training, equipment, exercises and planning projects that support counter-terrorism missions in our jurisdictions,” VanDeusen said.

Porter said the team is made up of 15 members and is primarily used for high-risk search warrants, but it also can be used for active shooters, bomb threats, hostage situations or any incident where there is a violent threat against the public.

He said the team recently was used to respond to a social-media threat involving Gloversville High School and several drug busts in the city.

Porter said the training and equipment for the team previously came out of each police department’s equipment and training allowance within each yearly budget. The new grant will allow for more training and equipment purchases, he said.

Porter said $2 million in funding was available for tactical teams across the state, and each team could apply for up to $100,000.

“It’s important for teams to improve both their training and equipment because it really improves their capability,” Porter said.

He said he expects the training and equipment purchases to take place later this year.

Johnstown Police Chief Mark Gifford echoed the importance of securing grants such as this to improve the Glove Cities’ tactical team.

“It’s very important to be prepared, and the better trained or equipped you are, the better the outcome will be in those situations,” Gifford said. “It would cut down and minimize any mistakes that could occur when forced into those types of situations.”